Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chandler: No Ineffective Failure to Seek Venue Change

In Chandler v. McDonough, No. 06-11190 (Dec. 18, 2006), the Court rejected a death-row inmate’s claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to move for a change of venue. Noting that its en banc decision in U.S. v. Campa, 459 F.3d 1121 (11th Cir. 2006) had created a high burden on a party seeking to establish presumed prejudice based on a failure to change venue, the Court stated that it was now difficult to establish the requisite "prejudice" for ineffective assistance in failing to seek a change of venue. The Court also upheld the denial of an evidentiary hearing on the ineffectiveness issue, noting that the written expert report regarding the venue was part of the record, and that the defendant had failed to proffer the evidence he would present at a hearing.